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Speaker Wire

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by ChipD, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. ChipD

    ChipD Member

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    I recently purchased a new system (listed below) and am now looking to buy speaker wire. When I was at the speaker dealer they suggested wire that cost around $300 for two pair of 8 foot cables. Are there cheaper options that would work well? How will this expensive wire compare to 10-16 gauge wire I could buy at Home Depot? Are there lower gauges I should consider? What type and gauge wire would you suggest for my speakers below? Should the wire be the same for all the speakers (front, center, sub, surround)? Thanks!


    Yamaha Receiver
    RX-V1400

    B&W Speakers
    DM603 s3 (2) - front
    LCR600 s3 (1) - center
    DM600 s3 (2) - rear
    ASW600 (1) - sub


    Chip
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    Lord only knows what sort of spark plug wires they'd recommend for an automobile [​IMG]

    Indeed there are less expensive options that you couldn't audibly differentiate. 12 gauge covers just about all your needs so to simplify matters, simply buy a spool of it. The amount of attenuation at say 50 feet and 20 kHz is pretty neglible and doesn't rise to the level of audibility. If you'd prefer to buy locally, then HD or Lowes has speaker wire at decent prices. Online, you can find Sound King over at PartsExpress. If you don't like a clear sheath on the wire and want something a little different, then KnuKonceptz provides an attractive blue exterior. At that point you've got to make a decision as to how you want to terminate the wire if indeed you do. For example, you can make your connections with bare wire, tinning the ends with a aoldering iron, spades, or bananas. Again you can buy that online or at a local place like Radio Shack. The lengths do not have to be the same unless you're into symmetry for some reason. I do recommend that you have a couple of extra feet in case you need to move things around a bit. If your sub takes an RCA input (line level) then you can also source that locally or buy from the same place you bought online if that makes matters easier. Many people go out and get themselves a length of video cable that's got F-Connectors and simply add a set of RCA to F adapters and leave it at that. The signals going to the sub are pretty modest (120 Hz and below...give or take) and that's handled very easily. Might even find something over at Target or Walmart that's reasonably priced.
     
  3. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Well-Known Member

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  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Well-Known Member

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    Chip: here is a guideline:

    Budget no more than 10% of the electronics cost for the wires

    So take the reciever cost and speaker cost and take 10% - what do you get? (likely a lot less than $300).

    Speaker wires DO have an influence on the sound, but it not as huge as some would have you believe. The Sound King brand will get you to about 95% of the way of the more expensive wires.

    Later, after you are used to the sound of your system (a month or two), go back to the dealer and 'borrow' (buy with a 30 day return policy) those more expensive wires and do your own A/B comparision. I suspect you will not find a $270 difference.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Well-Known Member

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    i agree with bob. get yourself some decent wiring first - you don't have to spend a fortune.

    i picked up some monster speaker wire, but i was kind of in a pinch. i really think any decent wiring will do.

    then...when you've had some time, get that good stuff. see for yourself if you hear a diff.

    if you do, the answer should be obvious.... [​IMG]
     
  6. GraysonAng

    GraysonAng Well-Known Member

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    What about these wires?

    Teptronics.com has the following Pyramid speaker wire:
    12 gauge, 50 feet for 6.99 (teptronics.com/rsw1250.html)
    12 gauge, 100 feet for 13.50 (teptronics.com/rsw12100.html)

    This is considerably cheaper than home depot and sound king. From what I've been reading, as long as it's 12 gauge, it should sound comparable. Is this true?
     
  7. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Well-Known Member

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    Yes you will be fine with them.
     
  8. Ralph B

    Ralph B Well-Known Member

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    I bought some RCA Brand clear/pink colored type 14g at home depot and it seems to be very high quality compared to HD stuff. very thick sheilding and looks better than monster stuff. looks way better than the SK stuff.
     
  9. BartJY

    BartJY Member

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    I agree, get the RCA 12 gauge it’s a perfectly fine speaker wire. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on wire. To spend any more is to simply to be putting more money into the salesman’s pocket. You’ll sleep well at night.
     
  10. Ralph B

    Ralph B Well-Known Member

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    no need to spend extra on 12g if your runs are not very long, you wont gain anything by it.

    my longest runs were to the front 15ft and 10ft or shorter to the rears.

    the RCA brand seems to be of high quality. unlike the carol brand I did have.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    It's not shielding, just PVC.
     
  12. Ralph B

    Ralph B Well-Known Member

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    you got what I meant, its still a sheild against elements and grounding...... [​IMG]
     
  13. MikeGee

    MikeGee Well-Known Member

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    from my experience...
    my friend lent me 2 6 foot strands of monster wire... to compare to my "crappy" 30 cent(canadian) per foot wire.
    Both wires were 12gauge...
    On my Pioneer 1014tx with my Athena B2's and i tried both.. noticed absolutly no difference... considering one wire was about 4 times what i paid..
     
  14. Ralph B

    Ralph B Well-Known Member

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    sure look purty though doesnt it. [​IMG]

    I will say atleast the PVC [​IMG] looks better with nice gold banana plug that get filled up with the jacket. the carol wires jacket looked like kids stuff on the connector.

    the carol was $26 for 100ft. the RCA brand I got (the purty stuff) was $30 for 100ft. $4 more for it to look purty [​IMG] and have a thicker jacket for piece of mind and not corrode like the HD carol suff did was worth it to me.


    the RCA looks to be Monster wire if not better looking than the monster stuff with alot of strands.
     
  15. BartJY

    BartJY Member

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    I have some old monster cable, probably about ten years old and it has tarnished like copper has a tendency to do. Will that tarnish hurt the sound of the music. I’m thinking it won’t but what are the thoughts on this?

    Thanks
    Bart
     
  16. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Well-Known Member

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    Here's a thought, call MonsterCable and they will replace it FREE! Like it or not, they do have Great service.
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    No it won't. Can't hurt to do what Ted suggested either.
     

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